What Can Liposuction “Fix”?

I’d say that the majority of my Dayton liposuction patients come to me with specific areas of fat that they haven’t been able to get rid of by dieting and exercise. There’s actually a scientific reason for that.

We all have our own specific genetics and body type, which dictate the places we tend to store fat. You may have noticed that your body type is similar to that of one or both of your parents: if your mom tends to wear her weight in the middle, you’re likely to do so, as well. Furthermore, there are several different body “types,” such as the pear shape, apple shape, endomorph, ectomorph, etc. Each of these “types” stores fat in a different area. (In case this is as confusing for you as it is for most people, click here for an article describing women’s body types and here for an article describing men’s body types.) So, if you’re an “apple,” you might want liposuction to shape your abdominal area; if you’re more “pear” shaped, you may want liposuction in your thighs.

Further, many women come to me for liposuction to cure their Post-Baby Body, which leaves women with a saggy abdomen, stretch marks and bits of concentrated fat after they’ve birthed their children. Others have successfully lost weight but still have bits of fat they can’t get rid of. Both of these patients often combine liposuction with a tummy tuck because they don’t just have areas of fat, they also have loose skin and stretch marks. Lastly, some of my Dayton liposuction patients come to me because aging has redistributed the fat from a place they liked it (buttocks for example) to a place they don’t like it, such as the flanks, love handles and tummy.

What, Exactly, Is Liposuction?
Liposuction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that breaks up and removes unwanted fat. It’s called by several different names: lipoplasty, lipectomy, lipo or liposculpture suction. You may have also seen specific “brands” of liposuction on the web or in TV commercials, such as SmartLipo, Cool Sculpting, and others, which use laser energy, radiofrequency, ultrasound or cold (called cryotherapy) to reduce fat.

What Liposuction is Not: It is Not a Weight-Loss Method.
You will never lose enough fat via liposuction compared with standard weight loss methods of diet and exercise. That’s why it’s designed to be a body-sculpting procedure; to reshape the body when distinct areas of fat are removed.

Liposuction will not remove stretch marks or tighten the muscles beneath the treated area. For that, one needs a tummy tuck, arm or thigh lift, depending on the area of concern.

How Much Fat Can Be Removed with Liposuction?
There are standard safety limits to the amount of fat that can be removed in one liposuction procedure that are followed by cosmetic surgeons. Right now, the standard maximum fat extraction is 4000 ml of fat (about 17 cups, which is about 11 lbs.). There can be some deviation based on patient weight; i.e., you can easily understand that 11 lb. of fat removed from a 6’4” tall, 250 lb. man is a different kettle of fish than removing 11 lb. of fat from a 5’1”, 150 lb. woman.

To remove more fat than is safe is to subject my patient to a higher risk of surgical complications. Every surgery, including cosmetic surgery, carries some risk. However, removing a great deal of fat via liposuction can create problems due to lengthy anesthesia and/or toxicity as a result of inserting too much lidocaine (Lidocaine, added to sterile salt water, is injected into the treated area during liposuction to produce anesthesia, limit blood loss, and make it easier to remove fat. Too much can be dangerous). Therefore, it’s better to be conservative. You’re better off having three separate liposuction procedures with a recovery period between each of them than having too much fat removed at one time.

So then, What Can Liposuction Fix?

  1. It removes specific areas of fat, such as in the
    • Abdomen
    • Thighs, inner and/or outer (saddlebags)
    • Knees
    • Love Handles or flanks (most common area for men)
    • Buttocks
    • In the back, specifically in the bra area
    • Upper Arms
    • Under the chin (much more effective, faster & less expensive than Kybella)

2. It provides a more sculpted appearance to the treated area

3. The removed fat will never return in the treated area

Who is a Good Candidate for Liposuction?
Healthy adult man or women with discrete areas of fat (as opposed to overall areas of fat) and good skin quality can benefit from liposuction. Those with good skin quality may find that tumescent liposuction works well for them. Those with less satisfactory skin quality may prefer laser liposuction due to its ability to tighten skin after the fat is removed. A private consultation in my Dayton cosmetic surgery office will guide us to identify the correct method.

If you have concerns about areas of fat that won’t go away despite your best efforts, schedule a consultation with me and let’s give you the body you’ve been craving! Call 937-839-4681 or complete this online consultation request form.

About Dayton OH Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Raymond Wolf

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